House Republicans scrub climate change concerns from EPA bill

The latest House bill aimed at thwarting climate change regulations drops previous language that acknowledged scientific concerns about global warming and evidence of rising temperatures and sea levels.

The House is slated to vote next week on several bills aimed at battling what Republicans call a White House “war” on coal — a package that includes previously passed legislation to block greenhouse gas rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

But the new version of the greenhouse gas bill from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) omits a “sense of Congress” section that describes scientific concerns about climate change while casting it as an international issue.

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The earlier version, which the House passed in April of 2011, said the United States has a “role to play in resolving global climate change matters on an international basis.”

The “sense of Congress” in the version of the bill approved last year stated: “There is established scientific concern over warming of the climate system based upon evidence from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”

The prior version of H.R. 910 also said Congress should ensure the United States fulfills its international climate role by developing policies that don’t hurt the economy, energy supplies or jobs. 

Upton, asked about the change, noted there are a “couple little differences” in the revised version of the bill.

“I can’t give you a specific reason why, but we are aware of it,” Upton told The Hill in the Capitol Thursday evening.

The updated version of the bill is available on the House Rules Committee website.

Republicans are packaging the bill to block EPA rules with several other bills, which have also passed the House, that thwart or delay federal policies affecting the coal industry. The are being rolled into a single bill that lawmakers will debate and likely pass.

This post was updated at 6:31 p.m.